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July 25, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(4):219-227. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730040001001

No other division of medicine is fraught with greater dangers to the patient and anxiety to the physician than that of obstetrics. The eclamptic convulsion, the terror of hemorrhage, the devastating ruptured uterus, are only a few of the apparently insurmountable obstacles with which the obstetrician has to contend. The radical treatment of eclampsia, the innovation of prophylactic forceps and version operations in order to shorten labor have all had their disciples. Some are still adherents to these methods, but most have retreated, sadder though wiser practitioners. We shall attempt to rationalize the problem of obstetric risk through an analysis of a group of cases, relatively small to be sure, but sufficient for the end in view.

The material is taken from the ward service of the senior author at the Bronx Hospital, where 1,569 mothers were delivered of 1,584 babies.

The class of patients cared for varied from the

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